Merkle says his top priority is unity in run for 2nd Congressional District
David Merkle figures if he’s not part of the solution for helping get Illinois back on track than he’s falling woefully short in his lifelong push to always be giving something back to his community.
“Basically my interests are basically from the time I was like in eighth grade and had a good civics teacher and I wanted to give something back as a kind of a pay it back, pay it forward type thing,” Merkle recently told the Chicago Sun-Time Editorial Board. “So I was on the county board for eight years, I helped with animal control, I’ve been involved in politics. I’ve watched current events every night, I watch what’s going on and it’s just alarming that the people who have gone out to Washington forget who they’re working for. They forget to walk in the door, they forget to take off their jacket and roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty and go to work. So basically that’s why I got to this point and I thought well, hey, if I don’t try it, if I’m not part of the solution then I am part of the problem.”
Merkle, a photographer for almost five decades, added his disappointment in what he sees as the wayward direction of the state and country also spurred him to action.
After defeating Patrick Harmon in last month’s Republican primary with nearly 37 percent of the vote in a tight, three-person race, Merkle is set to face Democratic incumbent Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Matteson) in the 2nd Congressional District in the general election next November.
“I think the biggest priority is to get people back to the feeling that we are all Americans,” Merkle added to the Sun-Times Editorial Board. “We’re not this, we’re not that. Ben Franklin, when he got done talking with the king, he got on a boat and came back home to America and he said he was all in. That’s what I think needs to be done in America, and especially our district, needs to be all in. We are all Americans. You can say whatever you want about everything else later, but you need to be all in 100 percent first.”
Merkle has also previously served on the Kankakee County Board. District 2 encompasses parts of Cook and Will counties and all of Kankakee County.